We attended a Night at the Museum event at the L.A. Natural History Museum last summer. It was the best possible way to see the museum! When you first arrive, you put your belongings (sleeping bag, air mattress, etc.) in one of the Halls -- we were in the Hall of African Mammals next to the elephants -- and sign in. You're assigned to one of four groups, so that everyone can enjoy the four evening's events in smaller subsets.
The kids made plaster casts of trilobytes and allosaur claws, did a scavenger hunt for information in the dinosaur exhibit, got a close-up visit with a millipede, and had a mini-lecture about some of the dinosaur items on display. Partway through there was a snack break, then lights out.
One of the best parts was that after breakfast the next morning, we could explore the entire museum before it opened! We encountered only a few people before opening time, and enjoyed having all the exhibits to ourselves. Later in the day it became quite crowded, and we appreciated our private time there even more.
They keep the kids up rather late for such a young audience (ours were 7 and 8 at the time, and they were up well past their bedtime, yawning through the last program). Still, it was a great learning experience and a very cool feeling seeing the dinosaur bones in the lobby from the darkened hall where we slept!
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